Tributes pour in as Buckingham Palace announces death of Prince Philip, aged 99

Prince Philip, Queen Elizabeth II’s husband, has died aged 99, Buckingham Palace has announced.

In a statement shortly after midday, the palace said: “His Royal Highness passed away peacefully this morning at Windsor Castle.”

The Duke of Edinburgh, who was the longest-serving consort in British history, had returned to Windsor Castle on 16 March after a month in hospital.

Boris Johnson said he “inspired the lives of countless young people”.

Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury, said the duke “consistently put the interests of others ahead of his own and, in so doing, provided an outstanding example of Christian service”.

The palace added: “The Royal Family join with people around the world in mourning his loss.”

Speaking at Downing Street, the prime minister said he received the news of the duke’s death “with great sadness”.

“Prince Philip earned the affection of generations here in the United Kingdom, across the Commonwealth, and around the world,” he said.

The flag at Buckingham Palace was lowered to half-mast and a notice was posted on the gates following the announcement of the duke’s death.

People also placed flowers outside the palace, while crowds began to gather at Windsor Castle.

The BBC’s royal correspondent Nicholas Witchell said it was “a moment of real national sadness” and “a moment of sadness, most particularly of course, for the Queen losing her husband of 73 years – a bigger span of years than most of us can imagine”.

He said Prince Philip had made “a huge contribution to the success of the Queen’s reign”, describing the duke as “utterly loyal in his belief in the importance of the role that the Queen was fulfilling – and in his duty to support her”.

“It was the importance of the solidity of that relationship, of their marriage, that was so crucial to the success of her reign,” he added.

The prince married Princess Elizabeth in 1947, five years before she became Queen, and was the longest-serving royal consort in British history.

In March, the Duke of Edinburgh left King Edward VII’s hospital in central London after a month-long stay for treatment.

He underwent a procedure for a pre-existing heart condition at another London hospital – St Bartholomew’s.

As news of the duke’s death rippled through this royal borough, people started to gather outside the gates of Windsor castle.

Locals, including a young girl, have left flower bouquets at the castle entrance.

More are being brought.

One of the cards attached to the flowers simply reads RIP Prince Philip.

Another is addressed to Her Majesty The Queen sending their deep condolences.

There is a sombre mood here in Windsor as people quietly reflect on the news of the duke’s death.

It was here where he spent his last weeks after being discharged from hospital. His last days spent with his wife, the Queen.

Prince Philip and the Queen had four children, eight grandchildren, and 10 great-grandchildren.

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Their first son, the Prince of Wales, Prince Charles, was born in 1948, followed by his sister, the Princess Royal, Princess Anne, in 1950, the Duke of York, Prince Andrew, in 1960, and the Earl of Wessex, Prince Edward, in 1964.

Prince Philip was born on the Greek island of Corfu on 10 June 1921.

His father was Prince Andrew of Greece and Denmark, a younger son of King George I of the Hellenes.

His mother, Princess Alice, was a daughter of Prince Louis of Battenberg and a great-granddaughter of Queen Victoria.

Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said she was “saddened” by the death of the duke.

She tweeted: “I send my personal and deepest condolences – and those of scotgov and the people of Scotland – to Her Majesty The Queen and her family.”

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said the UK had lost an “extraordinary public servant”, adding he would be remembered most of all for his most “extraordinary commitment and devotion to the Queen”.

The palace said further announcements would be made “in due course”.

The Duke of Edinburgh was at the Queen’s side for more than six decades of reign, becoming the longest-serving consort in British history in 2009

Meanwhile, current and former world leaders joined a chorus of condolences from around the world following the death of Prince Philip on Friday at the age of 99.

Here are some reactions to his passing:

– Britain –
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson hailed Philip’s “extraordinary life and work”, sending his condolences to Queen Elizabeth after his husband’s death was announced.

Johnson said the Duke of Edinburgh “earned the affection of generations” at home, in the Commonwealth, and across the world.

“We give thanks, as a nation and a kingdom, for the extraordinary life and work of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh,” he added.

Former prime minister Tony Blair hailed Philip’s public service, calling him “a man of foresight, determination, and courage”.

“He was often way ahead of his time in protection of the environment, in reconciliation between religious faiths,” he said, hailing his environmental work.

– Ireland –
Irish Prime Minister Micheal Martin said he was “saddened” by Philip’s death, adding: “Our thoughts and prayers are with Queen Elizabeth and the people of the United Kingdom at this time.”

– Australia –

Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison ordered flags to be flown at half-mast in his country after the passing of Philip, who he said, “embodied a generation that we will never see again”.

“The Commonwealth family joins together in sorrow and thanksgiving for the loss and life of Prince Philip. God bless from all here in Australia,” said the leader of the Commonwealth nation.

– India –
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi paid tribute to Philip’s military career and community work, saying his “thoughts are with the British people and the Royal family”.

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“He had a distinguished career in the military and was at the forefront of many community service initiatives. May his soul rest in peace,” the leader of the Commonwealth country tweeted.

– Germany –
Germany’s Foreign Minister Heiko Maas called Philip a loyal servant to the United Kingdom who “lived a long life of service to his country”.

“We are deeply saddened by the loss of His Royal Highness Prince Philip. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Royal family, the people of the Commonwealth, and all who loved him dearly,” Maas tweeted.

– European Union –
EU Commission head Ursula von der Leyen said on Twitter she was “saddened to hear of the passing of His Royal Highness Prince Philip”.

“I would like to extend my sincere sympathy to Her Majesty The Queen, the Royal Family, and the people of the United Kingdom on this very sad day.”

– Israel –
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expressed his “deepest condolences” to the Royal family.

“Prince Phillip was the consummate public servant and will be much missed in Israel and across the world,” he wrote.

– Malta –
Maltese Prime Minister Robert Abela said he was “truly saddened by the loss of Prince Philip, who made Malta his home and returned here so often”.

“Our people will always treasure his memory. Our sincerest condolences to Her Majesty The Queen and to the @RoyalFamily,” he said on Twitter.

– Sweden –
Swedish King Carl XVI Gustaf said he was “deeply saddened” to learn of Philip’s death, calling him “a great friend of our family for many years, a relation which we have deeply valued”.

“His service to his country will remain an inspiration to us all,” he said in a statement.

– US –
Former US president George W. Bush said Philip had represented his country “with dignity”, honouring his “remarkable life”.

“He devoted himself to worthy causes and to others,” Bush said in a statement.

“He represented the United Kingdom with dignity and brought boundless strength and support to the sovereign.”

– UNESCO –
The head of UNESCO tweeted her “sincere condolences” to the royal family and the United Kingdom after Philip’s death.

“His Royal Highness Philip was a pillar of English modern history and a strong advocate of Planet action through the Duke of Edinburgh Conservation Award. He will be missed,” Audrey Azoulay said on Twitter.

With agency reports

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